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Bolo punch in Burmese boxing
|Also known as||
Thailand: Mat Wiyeng SanBurma: Wai Latt-di
Ceferino Garcia is commonly referred to as the inventor of the bolo punch, though a 1924 article appearing in the Tacoma News-Tribune reported a Filipino boxer named Macario Flores to be using it. Garcia, Kid Gavilan and Sugar Ray Leonard are widely recognized as three of the best bolo punchers in boxing history. Roy Jones Jr. and Joe Calzaghe also use the bolo punch frequently.
When Ceferino Garcia was asked how he came to develop the wide sweeping uppercut, Garcia said that as a youth he cut sugarcane in the Philippines with a bolo knife, which he would wield in a sweeping uppercut fashion. When used in boxing, the bolo punch's range of motion is like that of a hook combined with an uppercut. As such, the punch should be thrown at 4–5 o'clock from an orthodox boxer's perspective.
Its most important aspect is a circular motion performed with one arm to distract an opponent, causing the opponent to either take his eyes off the attacker's other arm or actually focus on the fighter's circling arm. When the opponent concentrates on the hand that is circling, the bolo puncher will usually sneak in a punch with the opposite hand. When the rival concentrates on the hand that is not moving, the bolo puncher will usually follow through with a full punch.
A left bolo punch in counterpunch
Three of the most famous cases of a fighter using the bolo punch were when Leonard avenged his loss to Roberto Durán (see "The No Más Fight"), when Leonard drew with Thomas Hearns in their second fight (see Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns), and when Ike Ibeabuchi knocked out Chris Byrd with a left-handed bolo punch during their 1999 heavyweight contest.